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Militello in Val di Catania, Italy

Coppola V.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | De Maria R.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | De Maria R.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology | Bonci D.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine
Endocrine-Related Cancer | Year: 2010

Despite much progress in prostate cancer management, new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools are needed to predict disease severity, choose among the available treatments and establish more effective therapies for advanced prostate cancer. In the last few years, compelling evidence has documented the role of microRNAs as new broad-spectrum oncogenes or tumour suppressor genes, thus their use as diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic biomolecules is envisaged. This review extensively and critically summarizes the current knowledge about microRNAderegulation in prostate cancer disease, underlining present limits and future perspectives. © 2010 Society for Endocrinology. Source


Lombardo Y.,University of Palermo | Scopelliti A.,University of Palermo | Cammareri P.,Cellular and Molecular Oncology | Todaro M.,University of Palermo | And 7 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Background & Aims: The limited clinical response observed in many patients with colorectal cancer may be related to the presence of chemoresistant colorectal cancer stem cells (CRC-SCs). Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) promotes the differentiation of normal colonic stem cells. We investigated whether BMP4 might be used to induce differentiation of CRC-SCs and for therapeutic purposes. Methods: CRC-SCs were isolated from 25 tumor samples based on expression of CD133 or using a selection culture medium. BMP4 expression and activity on CRC-SCs were evaluated in vitro; progeny of the stem cells were evaluated by immunofluorescence, immunoblot, and flow cytometry analyses. The potential therapeutic effect of BMP4 was assessed in immunocompromised mice after injection of CRC-SCs that responded to chemotherapy (n = 4) or that did not (n = 2). Results: CRC-SCs did not express BMP4 whereas differentiated cells did. Recombinant BMP4 promoted differentiation and apoptosis of CRC-SCs in 12 of 15 independent experiments; this effect did not depend on Small Mothers against decapentaplegic (Smad)4 expression level or microsatellite stability. BMP4 activated the canonical and noncanonical BMP signaling pathways, including phosphoInositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and PKB (protein kinase B)/AKT. Mutations in PI3K or loss of Phosphatase and Tensin homolog (PTEN) in Smad4-defective tumors made CRC-SCs unresponsive to BMP4. Administration of BMP4 to immunocompromised mice with tumors that arose from CRC-SCs increased the antitumor effects of 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin. Conclusions: BMP4 promotes terminal differentiation, apoptosis, and chemosensitization of CRC-SCs in tumors that do not have simultaneous mutations in Smad4 and constitutive activation of PI3K. BMP4 might be developed as a therapeutic agent against cancer stem cells in advanced colorectal tumors. © 2011 AGA Institute. Source


Zeuner A.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | De Maria R.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | De Maria R.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology
Cell Stem Cell | Year: 2011

A subpopulation of cancer cells is believed to be responsible for tumor initiation, propagation, and metastasis. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Dieter et al. (2011) show that these functions in colon cancer can be ascribed to distinct tumor-initiating cell populations. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source


Coppola V.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | Musumeci M.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | Patrizii M.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | Cannistraci A.,Oncology and Molecular Medicine | And 12 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2013

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in men. Despite significant advances in prostate cancer diagnosis and management, the molecular events involved in the transformation of normal prostate cells into cancer cells have not been fully understood. It is generally accepted that prostate cancer derives from the basal compartment while expressing luminal markers. We investigated whether downregulation of the basal protein B-cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2) is implicated in prostate cancer transformation and progression. Here we show that BTG2 loss can shift normal prostate basal cells towards luminal markers expression, a phenotype also accompanied by the appearance of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) traits. We also show that the overexpression of microRNA (miR)-21 suppresses BTG2 levels and promotes the acquisition of luminal markers and EMT in prostate cells. Furthermore, by using an innovative lentiviral vector able to compete with endogenous mRNA through the overexpression of the 3′-untranslated region of BTG2, we demonstrate that in prostate tumor cells, the levels of luminal and EMT markers can be reduced by derepression of BTG2 from microRNA-mediated control. Finally, we show that the loss of BTG2 expression confers to non-tumorigenic prostate cells ability to grow in an orthotopic murine model, thus demonstrating the central role of BTG2 downregulaton in prostate cancer biology. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Colarossi C.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology | Pino P.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology | Giuffrida D.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology | Aiello E.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology | And 3 more authors.
Diagnostic Pathology | Year: 2013

Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the urinary bladder is a rare entity, accounting less then 1% of urinary bladder malignancies. The vast majority of the neuroendocrine carcinoma of the urinary bladder is represented by small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma while just few cases of large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) have been reported. In this cases report we describe a rare case of primary bladder LCNEC.Virtual Slides: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/2474700528951562. © 2013 Colarossi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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